Thursday, June 30, 2011

Put a stamp on it

I love the look of linoleum cuts (or woodcuts).
But I don't always love the pricetag supplies for lino cuts can often have.

Especially when I just want it to stamp a party invitation for Miller's upcoming 2nd birthday.  And would much rather use the extra cash to buy him a fun present.

So I opted for a much MUCH cheaper option by carving an image into a thick sheet of craft foam.  So easy.  So only 99 cents.

Here's what I did:
  • Cut foam to stamp size I wanted
  • Pencil drew a simple image onto foam (remembering that whatever you draw needs to be a mirror image)
  • Carved image with an exacto knife.  (At first I thought I would need to actually carve out the lines [see the tent], but I quickly realized that the foam surface itself becomes compromised just by simply slicing into it)
  • Evenly painted watercolors onto stamp for each press
  • Pressed stamp onto already printed party invites
{Finished products}
With all the extra foam I had, I then made a set of alphabet stamps for Miller (and myself) to enjoy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Motivators

watching 2 javier bardem movies in one week!

swimming pools, swimming pools, swimming pools

seed cathedral!  or as evan referred to it, "seed-thedral"

do you think i could a) get this guy to make me a magnetic map of the world (like his USA map) for our fridge?  and b) justify spending so much on a magnetic world for our fridge?

guess who's caught up on the mountains of laundry she always seems to have???

6ish more weeks and this (hiccuping at the moment) science experiment in my belly is definitely running out of room

finally getting to ride the trolley
what have you watched, contemplated justifying a purchase of, caught up on, finally getting to do this week?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Po-Tay-Toe, Po-Ta-Toe

Evan opened the fridge and totally called out my procrastination the other night.  "Are you going to do anything with all these veggies from the CSA box we got a week and a half ago?" 

I quickly searched for a response to defend myself, but the truth was in his hands like a bouquet.  A bouquet of limp radishes, carrots and celery.  I shifted the uncomfortable mass that has become my body, wiped away a milk mustache and declared, "We're having potato salad for dinner.  Didn't I tell you?"

Roasted Root Vegetable Potato Salad
  • Cut, with skin on (what turns out to be about 3 cups) of your choice of potato (I think I used yukon gold) into about 1" cubes or quarters.  
  • Add potatoes to a pot of boiling water for about 8 mins until they are "al dente".  Remove from water.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Chop veggies (radishes, carrots, celery) into even sized cuts.  (Radishes, in half and sliced about 1/4" thick.  Carrots about 1/4" thick.  Celery about 1/2" thick.)
  • Spread veggies (not potatoes yet) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix veggies around to get an even coated layer. 
  • Spread al dente potatoes evenly onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix around to get an even coated layer.
  • Roast veggies and potatoes for about 20 minutes.  Occasionally rotating sheets or stirring around to distribute roasting.  When done, potatoes and veggies should still have a subtle firmness, but roasty and tender at the same time.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, mix 1/3 cup mayo (or more if you like), 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.  
  • Once potatoes and veggies are cooled toss them into a bowl with the dressing (adding more or less depending on your tastes).
  • Enjoy!
We threw a few spoonfuls on some romaine lettuce and topped it off with a crumbled hard boiled egg.  DEE-LISH.
Nothing says summertime like a potato covered in a mayonaise based dressing.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(Grand) Father's Day needs crafty goodies too

The ladies had their turns last month.
It was now time to turn Miller's (limited) crafting attentions to his three Papas.
I purchased some plain white mugs and let Miller go nuts with my porcelain paint pens.  (FYI the paint your own mug kits at craft stores are not washable or even food safe.  "For decorative use only" for a mug equals "Lame" to me.)  We let them dry for the proper 24 hours and then baked them to seal the paint and make them dishwasher friendly. 

It's nothing profound or even that fresh of an idea, but they sure turned out cute, purposeful and budget friendly.  All the best criteria for a good gift in my book.

No laundry tonight either!

Instead I spent the last thirty minutes googling myself.  Super productive stuff, people! 

It's officially summertime and the weather is starting to kick into hot hot gear. 

Which means two things- my feet and hands are already puffing up, and Miller is now officially justified in "no pants" mode.

I hope you are enjoying the start of your summer as much as we are.  Pants on or otherwise.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Motivators (TMI edition?)

we had a momentary scare this weekend with a trip to the hospital, too much pelvic pressure and consistently strong contractions.  after a few tests and a check-ity check, the scare diminished into something a lot of fluids and some antibiotics could fix.  we're so excited to meet this little lady, but will patiently and non bedrest-y enjoy these next 8ish weeks waiting for her.

why am i still watching the bachelorette???  please tell me i'm not the only one...

coming home from an afternoon of work to evan's delicious homemade mac and cheese

refreshing our apartment patio by cleaning out the dead DEAD D.E.A.D dried out plants

guess who busted out the large pregnancy granny undies this week and is LOVING it?  pretty sure it's not the most mutual love within my marriage right now...

if left on my own, i just might drink a gallon of milk.  by myself.  everyday.  who am i right now?

i chose to rest my feet tonight and watch junk television instead of doing a few loads of laundry.  i feel no guilt about it at all.  looks like miller might be wearing his swim trunks tomorrow

enjoying a good cry after watching BLUE VALENTINE.  man, oh man, that is an intense/touching/honest movie.  p.s. ryan gosling still looks good even with a receding hairline.

celebrating the awesome father/best friend/role model that evan is in my life.  part of the joy i get from extending our family is knowing that these little lives get to grow up supported and loved by him.  these are some of the luckiest kids i know.

concentrating on the things you love doing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Every day is something new

I caught Evan with a melancholy stare toward Miller last night.

"He's growing up."
I put my fork down, joined the stare and let sadness and pride choke my throat.

And then Miller threw his dinner plate on the floor and begged "peaz"es to get down from his chair.

He'll be two in one month.  Today he's perfecting the art of eating cereal without spilling milk down his chest.  Soon he'll be tying shoelaces, reading, times tables, stick shifts, college applications, pick up lines, rent checks...

I could so easily get lost in how quickly he's growing up.  I could so easily miss out in how quickly he's growing up.

It's beautiful and it's terrifying.

I wouldn't want it to be anything less.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Motivators

here are some of the latest little treats that are shaping my week.  i'd love to know what's warming your week too...

poetry bombing

miller saying "hmm, yet's see" whenever we open a fridge, a toy box, a cupboard, a magazine...  apparently, i stand in front of the fridge and do this too?

"summa summa summa tiiiiiiiiiiime"

finally!! selling our huge headboard 

watching each of my younger siblings (which, through the course of life events, i have 6) grow and shape themselves around their passions and talents.

it's been over a week since i've seen it, yet i'm still giggling from BRIDESMAIDS

celebrating birthdays and demolishing desserts

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of the greatest gifts our friends and families blessed us with after coming home from the hospital with Miller was to organize and treat us to meals and snacks for those first few weeks of acclimating to a new baby.

Every other day we'd get an email or phone call from someone ready to know what time they could deliver the goods.  Sometimes they stayed and shared a meal with us.  Sometimes they stayed just long enough to smile at Miller and do our piles of dirty dishes.  It was all so so SO heavenly.

Although I still owe one of two families that just had a new baby a foodie stock up (and don't even try to say "it's not necessary" because "it's so happening anyway", you know who you are...), I did manage to visit my dear friend, Erin, last week with some of my personal favorite food goodies.

I may have also just wanted to visit her to coo at her beautiful new baby.
{I forget how tiny newborns really are... and how they don't tell you "NO" every time you need to them to put on clothes.}
Instead of a full meal, I brought Erin and her husband a variety of fresh fruits as well as a dozen mini quiches which could be frozen and popped in the microwave for a quick breakfast, snack, power boost, etc.
{These cooling buddies have spinach, corn, tomatoes and zucchinis}
I used a friend's family quiche recipe (which I don't know if I have the liberty to share on here, but it is VERY similar to this one here from epicurious- which can easily be modified to suit your own cheese/meat/veggie likes or fridge inventories).

I rolled out some store bought pie crusts, cut them into square-esque shapes, molded them into buttered muffin pans and spooned out the quiche mixture goodness.  (Some recipes call for you to bake a pie crust a bit before you add the egg mixture.  Instead, I just made sure to turn the oven down a tad and let them cook for a few minutes longer.  Eyeballing and covering with foil if necessary.)

After they had cooled awhile in the muffin pans, I slid a knife around the mini quiches and popped them out to cool completely before bagging them up (with a square of parchment in between each one) into a double sealed freezer bag.

When a snack craving hits, all the new parents need to do is pop one (or two... or six) into the microwave for about a minute and VIOLA! something other than a nutri-grain bar and a bowl of cheez-its for a 3pm (or 3am) food emergency.

Of course I doubled the recipe and had to make a large quiche for my own family too.  When in Rome, right?  Or rather when I'm surrounded by cheese and pie crust, right?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Motivators

i felt like an a-hole this week after calling a co-worker another name numerous times throughout the day.  panic and embarrassment set in at about 5am the next morning when i realized my mistake.  the things you remember when you're peeing in the middle of the night... 

little imperfections like that tend to set off domino effects and pretty soon i'm tumbling down the rabbit hole of all the regrets, losses and potholes i've walked upon throughout my life. 

it's a good thing that lately a simple smile can tug me back out of those often deep pits.

and helping evan shop for new clothes.

and birthday celebrations for friends.

and first outings (that don't involve doctors or trips to cvs) with a new (and naturally amazing!) mom.

and chocolate.

and hearing miller's whispering feet creep down the hallway each morning.  even when it's too early for my tired eyes.

and reading damn you auto correct.  ("...grandma wants you to pick up some smurf herpes on your way home...")

and clean highchairs.
What's helping tug you out of your tumbles lately?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kids Room Upgrade: Stage 1

Speaking of great places to rest...
{Climbing, resting, soundly snoozing}
This room's evolved a bit since we first moved in, and it will definitely continue to evolve as the new babe moves herself in too, but this kid space is shaping up to be one that we are proud to re-putawaytoys each and every day. 
Again, at least half of the room is done...

Master Bedroom Upgrade: Stage 1

I've lived on my own since I was 18.  With each place I've always ALWAYS prioritized my bedroom as last on the list of things to organize.

I hate that I do this.

Each new move I naively vow "BEDROOM FIRST!".  Months later the bedroom is less the sanctuary I long it to be and more the laundry, craft projects, papers to be filed storage area it defaults itself to be.  Most of the time I feel like our bedroom is one more pile away to becoming an episode of "Hoarders".

{In our defense, we were moving and reorganizing a bookshelf this day.  Also, take note of the bulky, dusty, annoying headboard bookshelf behind the bed.}
{Anyone in the LA area looking to buy this??  Please.}
This summer I plan to grab this damn lack of bedroom sanctity by the balls and take ownership by defining our bedroom as a beautiful, peaceful, sexy, cozy and pile free space.

Welcome to Stage 1:
{No more nasty, bulky headboard.  Eventually, we'd like to get matching nightstands, but until then this side table and cupboard will have to do.  Curtains too, maybe?  Definitely hoping to recover the antique chest at the foot of the bed.  Maybe a yellow or light gray?}
{New to us $15 thrifted cupboard currently holding and hiding etsy goodies.  I'm hoping to sand off some of the darkness of the blue stain.  Eventually.}
{The rest of the room still needs a bit of work though...}
I'd love to know what tricks, ideals, convictions you use to keep your bedroom a sane space.  Please PLEASE share.  I can use all the help I can get.  :)


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